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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Welcome to the 74th annual Hunger Games. “And may the odds be ever in your favor!”

The dreaded Hunger Games. North America as we know it is no more. In its place is Panem, and its twelve districts ruled by Capitol.

But it wasn’t always that way. There used to be 13 districts, but the thirteenth district made the fatal decision to rebel against the Capitol. Thus it was destroyed, and to punish the rest of the districts, Capitol created the Hunger Games. Each district must send two tributes between the ages of 12 to 18 to the Capitol every year for the games. The twenty-four tributes are paraded around and interviewed on TV before they are set loose in the arena. Inside the arena the possibilities are limitless. The goal? To be the last one standing. To the victor goes a life of ease, wealth, and glory. To all the losers—death. There will be various geographical and environmental challenges facing the tributes, but the greatest challenge is the other tributes. The entire ordeal is broadcasted for all of Panem to see—to see their own children kill each other for sport.

Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12, possibly the poorest of the twelve districts. She lives in the Seam, a poor mining community but helps her family pull through by hunting illegally with her friend Gale. Trading their game, they manage to survive and get the food and necessities they need. Katniss was pushed to take extreme measures to ensure survival after her father died, leaving her mother completely stricken. But with her young sister Prim to feed and look after, Katniss knew she had to do something so her family wouldn’t starve. Becoming proficient with a bow and arrows, Katniss became a hunter and gatherer in the woods beyond the fence, where she met Gale. But her skills do not stop her from being entered every year to be a possible tribute for the games.

The seventy fourth Hunger Games draw near, and Prim will be entered for the first time. Katniss already knows the drill, and has her name in the drawing far more times than Prim, since she had to put extra slips in so her family could get food and oil. But luck is against Katniss and despite having only one slip in the drawing, the girl tribute selected from the large glass bowl is Prim. Desperate the save her sister and spare her the horror that goes on in the arena every year, Katniss steps up to take her sister’s place.

Fate is not kind to Katniss that day; the boy tribute is Peeta, the baker’s son—someone Katniss actually knows. But there are no volunteers to replace Peeta, so the two are shipped off to the Capitol where they’ll be prepared for the games. With volunteer tributes from several districts that are trained for the Hunger Games, Katniss knows the chances of winning are pretty slim. But Katniss knows she has to try, because Prim and her mother are still waiting for her at home.

Despite all the hunting Katniss has done, and all the preparation she is given before she enters the arena, Katniss is not ready to face the horror, barbarism, and cruelty in the arena. But there is something else waiting for Katniss in the arena—something Katniss is in no way ready for.

The Hunger Games was an amazing book! All the reviews that I read were true—I could hardly put this book down! The Hunger Games is direct, no-nonsense, and a truly enthralling book. It captures your attention and never lets you go! It was an absolutely fantastic book and I can hardly wait for more! I highly recommend this book to all readers; you won’t be disappointed! It’s well worth a read and The Hunger Games will leave you wanting more!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

In Too Deep by Jennifer Banash

At the conclusion of the previous book in Jennifer Banash’s The Elite series, new girl Casey was left in a bit of a jam. Frenemy and queen bee Madison Macallister was brutal to Casey at a party, but luckily, Casey’s crush, Drew, came to the rescue. The good news? Casey and Drew have been going strong ever since. The bad news? Drew is still Madison’s ex…and Madison wants him back. How long will Drew and Casey last?

Madison Macallister has been a bit of a wreck on the inside ever since Drew started dating Casey, or the hopeless “frizzy Midwestern freak,” as Madison sees her. But despite all the comfort shopping she is doing, (which, by the way, cost quite a pretty penny) Madison cannot get over the fact that Drew Van Allen would dump her—the hottest girl in the school—for fashion-disaster Casey! Nevertheless, Madison has been carefully keeping up her composure, not letting anyone know just how much the whole business is effecting her, not even her two best friends—after all, the queen bee of Manhattan’s Upper East Side has a reputation to maintain! But cool composure or no, Madison is out for revenge…

And what better revenge is there than success? Madison seems to have hit the jackpot; she is spotted by a totally hot modeling agent and offered a possible modeling contract! Soon Madison’ll be the star on every billboard and will be featured in countless ads! She’ll hit the hottest runways for the best designers and be the new ‘it’ girl. But should anyone really expect any less of Madison, the girl that has it all—well, almost has it all? But no matter, Drew will come groveling back to her soon enough when she becomes the hottest model around! Vengeance will be hers, and her standing as the social queen will be completely solidified!

But Mad isn’t the only one with issues. Her two best friends, Sophie and Phoebe, have their own drama to deal with. What Sophie has always believed in might not be true, and Phoebe has issues of her own concerning her love life.

The world and family Sophie has always believed in is about to be shattered. Nothing is like what it seems, but some secrets should never be revealed... And poor Phoebe is torn between what she wants and what’s right. But who says she has to please everyone?

You should never take anything for granted, but unfortunately, some people just have to learn it the hard way! But one thing’s for certain; there’s plenty of trouble brewing for all of these Upper East Side teens!

As you know, life in the posh and drama-filled Upper East Side is never easy! Hold onto your Hermes scarves and Coach handbags, the Bram Clan is back for more action and drama!

Fans of Jennifer Banash’s The Elite will love this second book in her series! Once again, Ms. Banash captures emotions wonderfully, and lets her excellent characters develop even more, showing their true colors and giving us readers a further look into their minds and privileged lives! Ms. Banash has already got me looking forward to book 3: Simply Irresistible!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Year's Resolutions!

I was tagged by Vanessa of What Vanessa Reads to share at least 3 of my New Year's Resolutions!

1) To not procrastinate as much! I’ve gotten better, but every now and then I still procrastinate and feel like slapping myself later for doing so!
2) Get into better shape. (Despite doing several varsity sports, I’m can be lazy sometimes and need more discipline with my workout schedule!)
3) Enjoy life. Sometimes I forget to stop and enjoy the small things in life. :(

I'm tagging...
1) Bibliophile Support Group
2) The Page Flipper
3) The Book Muncher
4) Linda Gerber

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Owly by Andy Runton

Andy Runton presents two heartwarming stories in Owly: The Way Home and The Bittersweet Summer. Big hearted and well meaning Owly helps all little critters in need. Even though some run off fearing him to be a large predator, this sweet owl continues to help everyone in need. He eventually makes some good friends and saves a little worm during a rainstorm. The two become close friends as Owly nurses him back to heath and sets out to help the little worm get home. (“The Way Home”)

In his other adventure, “The Bittersweet Summer,” Owly meets a pair of hummingbirds and learns that although he loves his new friends, they cannot stay in such a cold place through the winter. They leave Owly for a few months, but perhaps they will return when the weather is warmer!

I loved this first book on Runton’s Owly series! A definite recommendation for young readers and even older readers! This caring owl and all his adorable friends will appeal all readers! These sweet little illustrations tell adorable and wonderful stories and convey a good lesson on friendship even though Runton does not use words!

Don’t forget to check out Owly’s Tiny Tales as well!

An enjoyable collection of short stories in comic-form, featuring Owly, Wormy, and their friends!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Far From You release celebration and contest!

Lisa Schroeder, author of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, is celebrating the release of her upcoming YA novel, FAR FROM YOU, and hosting a contest with LOTS of great prizes!

For three days leading up to the book’s release date of December 23rd, you can watch VLOGs and hear some excerpts read from the book. The VLOG schedule is as follows:

Sunday, December 21st – Liv’s Book Reviews -

Monday, December 22nd – What Vanessa Reads -

Tuesday, December 23rd – Lisa Schroeder, author - AND

Help spread the word, and you might win a fabulous prize!

Copy and paste THIS entire blog entry into your blog between now and December 21st, then come back to Lisa’s blog at either Livejournal OR Myspace and leave a comment with the link to your blog and you will get TWO enteries to win a number of prizes.

Wondering what you might win? Here is the list (there will be multiple winners):

~ An Advanced Review Copy of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, by Carrie Ryan

~ An Advanced Review Copy of SOMETHING, MAYBE, by Elizabeth Scott

~ Young adult novel GIRL, HERO by Carrie Jones

~ Young adult novel, THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas

~ Young adult novel, UGLIES by Scott Westerfield

~ Pair of YA fairy tale retellings by Cameron Dokey (BELLE and BEFORE MIDNIGHT)

~ TWILIGHT movie soundtrack

~ $15.00 Barnes and Noble gift card along with some Harry & David’s chocolate moose munch

~ And of course, a signed copy of FAR FROM YOU

For more chances to win, watch one or all of the VLOGs and leave a comment on that vlogger’s page, and you get another entry. That means if you post the schedule on your blog AND comment on all three VLOGs, you can have FIVE entries for the contest!

A live drawing with winners announced will be done by Lisa Thursday morning, December 24th, in a special holiday VLOG.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Faketastic countdown!

A fan of Alexa Young's novel Frenemies? Well, the next book in the series is hitting bookstores soon!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tid bits

Life has still been a bit hectic for me lately, but hopefully things'll settle down soon. Anyway! The holidays are almost upon us--anyone have snow yet?

But I managed to take some time to visit some blogs lately and just wanted to point out a few posts I read, books that sound great, and a neat contest or two:

  • A great review on PAPER TOWNS by John Green over at And Another Book Read
  • An interview with the lovely Melissa Walker over at Reviewer X's blog
  • The Book Muncher has reviewed Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' new book, PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY.
  • Congrats to the Story Siren's 1st Birthday!! She's also hosting a contest with lots of fantastic books to giveaway!
  • Just Blinded Book Reviews has posted a review for VIDALIA IN PARIS.

I just finished In Too Deep and am working on my review, so keep your eyes out for that! :)

Oh, and don't forget, I'm hosting a giveaway here on The Book Vault too! Check here for chance to win a copy of FRANCEY by Martin Dubow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Giveaway! Francey by Martin Dubow

Here's another chance to win Francey by Martin Dubow!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Francey, and all you have to do to enter is watch this video Mr. Dubow has created for Francey and leave a comment on youtube.
Check out the video here.

After you comment on youtube, just comment on this post with your:
- name
- email
- and the name you commented under on youtube

that's it!

And if you'd like an extra entry, post about this giveaway and comment AGAIN to this post with the link!

This giveaway is open to US residents only, sorry!
Please enter by January 14th, midnight EST!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I <3 your blog take 2!

I just got nominated again (x3!) for the I <3 Your Blog award! Thanks guys! This is really touching. :)

Thanks to the people who nominated me:
Ashley of Ashley's Bookshelf
Megan of Simply Books
Renee a.k.a. The Book Girl

& thanks to all you visitors!!

See my nominations here! Thanks again!! =D

Monday, December 1, 2008

Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin

Brianna Pelletier is, simply put, a math genius. She’s a brilliant AP Calculus student (whose thoughts often drift to interesting calculations) that could easily get into MIT. But that doesn’t matter—because Brianna has cystic fibrosis.

Or does it?

Brianna is accustomed to her daily routine; her father must pound the mucus out of her lungs bright and early in the morning. She knows her life will be short lived and that she can hardly live a normal life with her condition. But as a new school year starts and Brianna enters AP Calculus, her perspective just may change.

With a quirky teacher who has a colorful past and interesting new ways to look at various mathematical theories, Brianna might have to start looking at things a new way.
As fellow AP Calculus student, Adam, finds out with a bit of research, their math teacher, Mr. Eccles, was formerly part of the band Love. After Adam burns CDs of their music for Brianna to hear, Brianna finds comfort in the band’s lyrics. Calculus has also proved stimulating for Brianna in a different way; she beings to contemplate infinity, and the different possibilities numbers provide. Can she still make something of her life? Can she learn to live again?

Forever Changes is a fantastic and inspiring novel that I really recommend! All the characters are well developed and have their own, believable and loveable quirks. From Brianna’s loving father, to nerdy but well-meaning Adam, to Brianna’s crazy but fun loving friends and the interesting but inspiring Mr. Eccles, amazing characters surround Brianna as she goes on an incredible journey when the desire to live is reawakened in her.

Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Thanks to i'm loving books!


I receive review copies of books from publicists, authors and publishers for an honest review. I do not receive monetary or other compensations for posting reviews.